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Spartak Team Handball

Welcome to the Spartak Team Handball Website!

For those of you who are new to Team Handball, it is a fast paced, exciting sport which is extremely popular in Europe and growing in North America. Perhaps the easiest way to describe Handball would be to say it's like water polo, minus the water (and the speedos of course).

Team Handball came to the forefront at the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg. The Convention Centre (Handball's venue) was full to capacity on a regular basis and the sport received a lot of positive media coverage. Manitoba was well represented by six athletes on the Men's National Team Handball Team. Two of these players were from Spartak!

Spartak has been competing in the Winnipeg Team Handball League's (W.T.H.L) "A" division for 6 years. Last season was Spartak's most successful. They made it all the way to the league championships where they lost a hard fought series 2 games to 1 to Northern Heat. Spartak also travelled to Edmonton where they were finalists in the City of Champions Tournament.

Spartak is known throughout the league for it's fast paced, high scoring offence and distinct lack of defence.

Spartak are affiliated with Spectrum who are the Men's "B" division Champions!!


Shawn Johnny Auger: The youngest member of Spartak, Shawn plays mostly on the right wing. This is Shawn's third season with the club. He previously played with Riccochet and has represented Manitoba on the Junior Provincial Team. Shawn Johnny scored several key goals in Spartak's semi-final victory over Jester last season.

Larry Curtaz: A right back, Larry has been with Spartak since their inception. Last year was a particularly strong season for Larry. He was amongst the league leaders in scoring and was voted a league all-star. Larry is expecting to be a father in the near future. This will bring the total of Spartak Kid's Club to four members.

Kris Kendall: Team captain and perennial league all-star, Kris represented Canada at the Pan American Games in Winnipeg this past summer. Kris plays on the right wing, a spot where he rarely misses from. Kris has undoubtedly been Spartak's most valuable and consistent player throughout the years.

Gary Manchalenko One of Spartak's most determined players, Gary's drive allowed him to return to action after sustaining a serious knee injury a few years ago. This season Gary will be expected to play a lot of minutes at the pivot position as well as some at wing. Gary is one of the original members of Spartak and has also represented Manitoba at the national level.

Valentino Medved Spartak's Croation sensation, Val is one of the teams most versatile players. His strength and quickness allow him to be effective at back or at wing. Tino is one of the teams founding members and is currently the team representitive. He has represented Manitoba nationally at the junior and senior level.

Aedan McCarron Perhaps Spartak's most intense competitor, Aedan has been with the team from the beginning. Although he is recognized as one of the league's best defensive players, Aedan excels offensively as well and has been a constant member of Manitoba's provincial teams. Aedan brings many things to the team, most noteably, the sweet smell of Rye on an early Sunday morning.

Steve Sawatzky Spartak's newest member, Steve was one of the founders of affiliate club Spectrum in 1997. In this, his first year of handball, Steve earned a division all-star and a spot on the provincial team. The following season Steve moved up to join Spartak. His greatest strength is to run the floor and score goals on the fast break.

Like Aedan, Steve is always pleased to raise team funds through working Bingos.

Carlisle Wright Also one of Spartak's original members, Carlisle has demonstrated his ability to play nearly every position on the court. His many years of handball experience and accurate shot, make him a dangerous offensive player. Carlisle has represented Manitoba nationally many times, at both the junior and senior level.

Jade Young The player-coach, Jade was Spartak's other member of Team Canada at the Pan American Games. One of the league's best jump shooters and most talented offensive players, Jade has the ability to score goals in bunches. He undertook the responsibility of coaching the team due to the fact that he deemed himself "uncoachable" by anyone else.

One of Spartak's greatest strenghts is their goaltending. Undoubtedly they posess the best goaltending tandem in the league.

Dave Fortier If handball goaltenders are a tad "crazy", then Dave is the perfect prototype. He can often be found banging his head against the posts or wildly hitting himself all over. Dave's strong play in last years playoffs was instrumental in propelling Spartak into the league final. Dave is an original Spartak member and has represented Manitoba at the junior and senior level. Dave has also been Spartak's team representitive in the past, but was relieved of these duties for embezzling funds from the team account.

Keith Ginther Spartak is glad to have Keith back in the pipes after a few years away from the sport. In the past, Keith has been cosidered one of the top goalies in the country and has spent time training with the national team. Keith is one of Spartak's founding members and is definitely one of the teams leaders.

Reactivated Players
Kenny Anyadike No longer in bad standing with the league (don't worry Kenny we've all been there), Kenny is once again playing. Spartak's biggest member (6 feet nine inches, 285 lbs.), his presence and girth is a welcome asset. If anyone wishes to donate to the Anyadike "I need to pay off my debt fund", cheques can be made payable to the Loanshark.

Ben Moore No longer on a temporary hiatus from Team Handball (and society in general for that matter), Ben is Back! Ben's size, speed and court presence has been missed and he is sure to contribute immediately. Ben has represented Manitoba at the junior and senior level and is one of Spartak's founding members. Ben is also a very versatile player who can play anywhere on the court with the exception of goalie. Spartak is proud to announce that Ben has been declared "no longer a danger to society." (who makes these decisions anyway?)


GAME 1 OCTOBER 24th Spartak vs. Riccochet

It was evident that this was the first game of the year for both teams as they had trouble finding their scoring touch. Riccochet opened up an early lead and at half-time was ahead 7-5. In the second half Spartak took the play to Riccochet and had a two goal lead with only a few minutes remaining. To Riccochet's credit they battled back and the game ended in a tie at 16. National team member and Riccochet goaltender Larry Hosegood had a strong game frustrating the Spartak offence which created many chances, but could not finish. Spartak missed the shooting of Jade Young who was serving a suspension carried over from last years playoffs. Steve Sawatzky scored a game high four goals, Kris Kendall chipped in with three. After the game player-coach Jade Young offered these words of wisdom to his players who were frustrated with the tie: "Don't worry guys, we're still undefeated."

GAME 2 OCTOBER 31 Spartak vs. Phoenix

Saturday night's Hallowe'en festivities left Spartak with a decided disadvantage heading into this past weekend's contest. However, thanks to the extra hour of sleep provided by daylight savings time, the team rose to the occasion and defeated Phoenix 25-17. Spartak struggled early and the score was close until just after half time. Eventually, Spartak's defence picked up the pace and created goal after goal on the fast break. Past President Ward Hrabi scored a game high seven vintage style goals. Norm Taylor chipped in with four goals for Phoenix. Spartak high scorers were wingers Kris Kendall and Steve Sawatzky with six apiece and Jade Young with four. Also of note was the return of Kenny Anyadike to the lineup. The loan came through! Player-coach Jade Young commented after the game; "I know we had a bunch of guys out pissing it up last night, but what else is new, at least we won." Next Sunday Spartak takes on league champion Northern Heat in a rematch of last years final (11:00 am Red River Community College). Should be a doozy!

GAME 3 NOVEMBER 7 Spartak vs. Northern Heat

This past Sunday was a big day for Spartak as they knocked off defending league champions Northern Heat (perhaps more appropriately named Northern Orange). Spartak has now played every team in the league and is the only remaining undefeated team. Player coach Jade Young was happy to get the win, but not overly impressed with the team's play. "We have trouble scoring on uncoordinated goalie's," said Jade. The game was tight until the last 10 minutes when Spartak opened up a four goal lead. Captain Kris Kendall called a timeout with only minutes remaining and instructed the team to play conservatively and try to preserve the four goal margin. Spartak's "two minute drill" flopped as the Heat ended up scoring two quick goals to leave the final score 22-20. Roy Duquette scored a game high 5 goals for Northern Heat. Spartak high scorers were Carlisle Wright, Larry Curtaz and Steve Sawatzky with four goals apiece. Northern Heat director of player personnel T-Nott commented after the game; "If I would have been playing we'd have only lost by one." Spartak has a well earned bye this coming weekend. Their next game will be against second place Riccochet.

GAME 4 NOVEMBER 21 Spartak vs. Riccochet

Spartak's dream of an undefeated season came crashing down around them this past Sunday. In a rematch of their season opening draw, Riccochet defeated Spartak 20-17. As was the case in their first game, Spartak was continually frustrated by goalie Larry Hosegood who made save after save including a number of key penalty shots. Spartak also demonstrated an acute case of fumbalitis, as many balls were dropped, thrown away and generally turned over. Jade Young led Spartak scorers with five goals, suprisingly sober Aedan McCarron chipped in with four. In a rare display of silence, Player coach Jade Young declined comment after the game.

Notes: Right back Larry Curtaz did not play due to an injured knee. Goalie Keith Ginther was ejected from the game by referee and Past President Ward Hrabi. Keith will miss the next two games due to suspension

GAME 5 NOVEMBER 28 Spartak VS. Phoenix

This past weekend Spartak rebounded from their previous loss to defeat Phoenix 23-16. The first half saw Spartak jump out to a commanding lead. Phoenix appeared frustrated as they struggled to get their patented "three pivot" offence on track. During the second half Phoenix began to creep back into the game led by Past President Ward Hrabi and his game high seven "vintage" style goals. However, it was a case of too little too late for the Phoenix as Spartak coasted to a relatively easy victory. To add insult to injury, goalie Dave Fortier scored a goal from his own net as Phoenix goalie Clint Sennebald had ventured out of his goal to play the fast break pass. Spartak high scorers were Jade Young, Val Medved and Carlisle Wright who had four goals each. At the post game lunch Player-Coach Jade Young had these strange comments: " legs, help me guys, what do I do....aaarrgghhh....." etc. etc.

GAME 6 DECEMBER 4 Spartak vs. Northern Heat

Inspired by the addition of a new member to the family, Spartak came through to beat Northern Orange by a score of 25-20. The new member to which I am referring is Xavier Tyson Curtaz, son of Larry and Shannon. CONGRATULATIONS!! He was born of Thursday December 2nd, which prompted a Spartak celebration including lots of booze and cigars. Xavier attended the game on Saturday and seemed to enjoy himself. Meanwhile, on the court, Spartak lit up Northern Heat like a Christmas Tree. At one crucial point in the game the Heat had a two man advantage during which Spartak outscored them 3-0! Northern Orange director of player personnel T-Nott was flabbergasted. "Too much speed...too much speed...", was all that he could say. The Spartak offence was led by second time sober Aedan McCarron who pumped in a season high eight goals. Wingers Kris Kendall and Steve Sawatzky scored five and four respectively. KEY STAT: Playing sober, Aedan McCarron has averaged 6 goals a game. Not so sober, he's averaged two or three. Does anyone see a correlation here? Maybe Mr. McCarron should do something more constructive with his time. Ha!

GAME 7DECEMBER 12 Spartak vs. Riccochet

Last Sunday was the last day of play this century for the Winnipeg Team Handball League! It was only fitting that the last game of the millenium pitted the two teams tied for top spot in the Men's A division. The game lived up to it's billing and Spartak came out on top 19-17. This was a game that had a little bit of everything. There was controversy right from the beginning as Spartak was forced to combine new jerseys with old shorts (thanks to Kenny Anyadike (too much man!)and Past President/referee Ward Hrabi). The boys still looked good though, and when you look good you play good! This was the first time in three tries that Spartak managed to beat Riccochet. Spartak will go into the year 2000 at the top of the heap in the Men's A division. Spartak high scorers were Larry Curtaz (returning from a knee injury) and Steve Sawatzky who had four goals each. League leading scorer Bill Coulter had eight for Riccochet. Third time sober Aedan McCarron scored three times. Not bad Aedan, but don't cut yourself off completely, we don't want you to have the shakes out there.

GAME 8 JANUARY 15 2000 Spartak vs. Phoenix

Spartak took the next step to becoming the Millenium Men of the W.T.H.L. this past weekend as they opened up the year 2000 with a 28-18 trouncing of Phoenix. This game was never in doubt as Spartak took the play to Phoenix and their patented "three pivot offence" for the entire 50 minutes. Even Past President Ward Hrabi had trouble finding the twine, perhaps because he was thinking about putting in a vintage style protest on Spartak's see-through shorts. Speaking of the shorts, Spartak had it's complete uniform this weekend even though Kenny Anyadike was nearly "too much man" for his new X-Large shorts. Nevertheless, the boys looked good and played that way. Spartak high scorers were Jade Young, Kris Kendall and Steve Sawatzky.

GAME 9 JANUARY 16 Spartak vs. Northern Heat

This game saw Spartak pick up where they left off the day before as they beat up on Northern Heat 31-23. With only minutes left in the first half Northern Orange led 12-8 but Spartak charged back to take a 13-12 halftime lead and never looked back. The turning point in this game occurred when Larry Curtaz hit the Heat's rookie goaltender in the face early in the second half. After that the kid was a tad ball shy and Spartak had the whole net to shoot at. This game brought out the Spartak of old as the boys talked a little trash and whooped it up. Spartak captain Kris Kendall was so vocal that he earned himself a yellow card. Spartak's offence was very balanced on this day as player coach Jade Young scored seven times and four players notched six goals each. They were Steve Sawatzky, Aedan McCarron, Larry Curtaz and Kris Kendall. Spartak now sits a top the league with a record of 7-1-1. Riccochet remains one game back and these two teams will meet on January 22nd.

Game 10 JANUARY 22 Spartak vs. Riccochet This past weekend was a big test for Spartak as they went up against second place Riccochet. In the end Spartak came out on top 20-15 solidifying their place as the top team in the league. This game marked the return of Ben Moore to the Spartak lineup. Ben was a welcome addition, playing stellar defence and chipping in with one goal. Spartak was in front by three or more goals for the entire game, it was never really in doubt. Offensive leaders were player coach Jade Young (whose offensive resurgence has been reminiscent of past glory) with six goals and Kris Kendall with four.

Exhibition Matchup In an eagerly anticipated exhibition match Spartak played against B division champion and affiliate club Spectrum this past Sunday. Spectrum is undefeated in the B this season and is playing some test matches to help them decide whether or not to move up the the A next season. This was a spirited contest which brought out the competitive spirit of both teams. The result was as anticipated with Spartak winning quite handily 34-10. However, it is the opinion of this editor that Spectrum has the potential to compete in the A division. Their players are young, energetic and constantly improving. Sure they'll take their lumps for a while, but it has become blatantly obvious that they have outgrown the B division. It's time to put it all on the line boys. Some wise person once said; "To conquer without risk is to triumph without glory."


This is your chance to be heard! One of the readers suggested I post my e-mail address and invite letters to the editor (she always was the smart one). If anyone has something interesting to say I'll post their letter and respond to it right here on the site. So check out my address (located at the top of this page) and drop me a line. You can comment about the site, the league, or anything else you can possibly think of.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Dear Editor,

As the Vice President of the Manitoba Team Handball Federation, I would like to Congratulate you and the Spartak Team for the creation of a very interesting and entertaining web page, as I find myself checking it on a weekly basis and usually chuckling as I do so. I feel that you and others like you should be commended for your advancement of the sport in Manitoba for designing this site to help keep the Membership more informed, and helping to draw more attention to the sport through the Internet. Further more, I am interested in knowing when do you or any other member of Spartak intend on "working"/( or not working) some more bingo's? As it seems to be a great money making venture for the Federation.

Chris Kaufmann Vice President M.T.H.F.

Dear Mr. Vice President,

I would like to begin by saying that it is a honour and a privilege to have an esteemed member of the handball community such as yourself, visiting our team's humble web page. I would like to thank you for your generous comments and insights. We're glad that you have been "entertained." I would also like to take this opportunity to commend you for the fine job that you've been doing with the Manitoba Team Handball Federation. If you ever need a vote, you can count on Spartak! Please say a big hello to vintage Past President Ward Hrabi at your next meeting. I believe that he has yet to visit us at our website.

As for the Bingo's, Spartak is always prepared to help out in any way, shape or form to raise funds for the Manitoba Team Handball Federation. Please make sure to give us advanced notice, as we will need time to fix the car.

Humbly yours,

The Editor


Player Profiles
1999/2000 Game Summaries
Letters to the Editor
Links to other Team Handball Sites